Country Ham Project

Curing meat is a very old tradition that was done for years out of necessity. Before people had refrigerators, meat would spoil quickly if it wasn’t preserved in some way. After animals, especially hogs, were slaughtered much of their meat was cured with salt, sugar, and spices. Doing this kept the meat from spoiling for much longer amounts of time—sometimes a year or more!

Because we now have refrigerators and many other modern conveniences we often don’t think about doing things the “old fashioned way.” The 4-H ham curing contest is a great way to learn a new skill while learning about the past! Participants cure their own country hams and also develop their communication skills, presenting a 3-5 minutes speech on a given topic about country hams at the Kentucky State Fair!

To join the 4-H Country Ham project, applications are available in the fall and must be completed and returned to the Extension Office by December.   

 4-H Youth Country Ham Contract